Deck Update - January 2023
The changes to the deck in January 2023 were relatively small, as the deck already performed optimally. The swaps were intended to improve the deck's ability to generate coloured mana, address a weakness it had, and a ‘strictly better’ swap that synergizes better with Equipment.
Land Tax > Jeweled Lotus
Land Tax was once a very useful card but I felt it has outlived its purpose in the deck with the amount of fast mana generators that were added before this update; such as Mana Crypt and Ancient Tomb. Jeweled Lotus is an excellent card in this deck that allows for very early game attacks with Avacyn. In the later game it still adds value by helping to pay for the commander tax. It is also easier to recur from the graveyard because it is an artifact. The deciding factor for this swap was asking myself which of the two cards I’d be happier to have in the opening hand as the first player.
Basics lands > Non-basic lands
Before this update the deck was already low on basic lands, it had only nine of them. The main reason for this was to have targets for Land Tax and Sword of the Animist, and other cards that can tutor for basic lands. However, with the Land Tax swapped out of the deck, I saw an opportunity to add more lands that could generate one of the Boros colours, without coming into play tapped. These were Battlefield Forge, Needleverge Pathway, and Spectator Seating; swapped out for two Snow-Covered Plains, and one Snow-Covered Mountain.
Battlefield Forge is useful because it has the option to tap for a colour in exchange for 1 life, but otherwise taps for a colourless mana that can be used to cast one of the many artifacts. Needleverge Pathway has the drawback of tapping for only one colour once it is on the battlefield, but it does come in untapped and the colour choice is flexible. Spectator Seating taps for either of the two colours and only comes in tapped when there are less than two opponents. In that scenario the game is close to being over anyway, so it does not matter.
Selfless Spirit > Remorseful Cleric
The deck was lacking any sort of graveyard removal. After considering my options, I’ve decided that swapping Selfless Spirit for Remorseful Cleric was the easiest and best solution. The ability to grant indestructibility rarely made a difference, and there are already numerous other ways to give Avacyn protection from damage. Besides their abilities, the two cards are otherwise virtually the same.
Open the Armory > Fighter Class
This is a case of a ‘strictly better’ swap. Both cards are the same mana value (2), the only difference being that Open the Armory is one generic and a white, while Fighter Class is one red and one white. This is not an issue in the deck, it is designed to generate both of those colours.
Open the Armory is a sorcery that can tutor Aura or Equipment. Fighter Class is an enchantment that can tutor for an Equipment when it enters the battlefield. There is only one Aura in the deck, and there is never a need to tutor for it. What makes Fighter Class even better is the second level that reduces equip cost. This makes all but two Equipments cost 0 to equip. Furthermore, as an enchantment, Fighter Class can be recurred from the graveyard. Open the Armory had no option to be recurred.